For quite a while now I've been using a D-link router to wirelessly connect me to the world wide web and have been very happy with this routers capabilities. Unfortunately, due to a very clumsy manoeuvre with a hot cup of coffee and Sir Isaac Newton's universal law on gravity this D-link connected to the Web no more.
This would not of been a problem normally, but as I was in the middle of a works project I could not afford to be offline for too long, in fact, as the saying goes, time is money and I was losing precious time whilst being offline.
In a desperate hope I phoned a friend and asked if I could finish my work from his house, to which, after he stopped laughing, he agreed, although he did tell me that he had a spare router which I could borrow until I bought myself a new one.
So, with this offer of borrowing a router being a lot simpler than packing up all my paper work, my laptop and everything else I quickly drove round to my friends house, picked up the router and headed straight back home, immediately setting it up so that I could finish my project without losing too much time.
* Wireless router
* 174mm wide x 120mm deep x 30mm high
* Weighing in at 300 grams
* Integrated aerial
* 4 port
* 108 Mbps Data transfer rate
* 2.4 Ghz Frequency band
* Ethernet, (fast) IEEE 802.11b, g, and super G DL protocol
* TCP/IP, PPPoE, PPPoA, ICMP/IP, L2TP, PPTP and UDP/IP
** Security and protection includes
* firewall, dynamic IP assignment, SPI, changeable MTU, URL filtering, smart MIMO and more.
* ADSL, ADSL2 and 2+ DS protocol
* 64 and 128-bit WEP, 64 bit WPA, WPA2 and WPA-PSK
** Comes with...
* A stand, mains power cable, a network cable, (yellow) and a phone cable, (black)
* External power supply
* Can be used for both wired and wireless connectivity.
** Required OS...
Windows 98 and above, UNIX, Apple Mac and Linux.
As I have used a net gear before I had a good idea of how to set this one up, even though I had not used a net gear for a while. But as soon as I saw the 'welcome' screen, after inputting the factory setting admin and password to get into the router, which are printed on the bottom of the device so I strongly recommend changing the password before you do anything else, I remembered just how easily it was to get me re connected to the world wide web.
Just let the 'wizard' set up the router and then, if you feel a little competent, you can then set about tweaking the router to exactly how you want it.
Luckily, although my D-Link router had technically drowned, the phone cable had suffered no damage so connecting it up took a few seconds. The it was a matter of getting into the router via the usual http address, which is printed on the bottom of the unit, (default being http://192.168.0.1 with the admin and password defaults being 'admin' and 'password')
The only thing that did slow me down was that the routers password had been changed and my friend could not remember what he had changed it to, but this wasn't a problem. It just meant resetting the router, which is easily done by pushing a pin like object into the reset 'hole' and holding it pressed in for a few seconds ,this resets the entire router to the factory settings and the password changes back to 'password', simple, so I then went about setting the router to how I wanted it.
It looks so neat and tidy, the casing being white with green lights flashing when it is in operation, and with it being a good size, about as big as a normal paper back book, it didn't look out of place in the living room.
On the front there is the 'Netgear' logo and those operational lights, the first being the power on/off, then a little 'tick' which informs you that the router is in working order.
Then there's the internet connection light, which goes green when a connection to the Web is found and flashes at various speeds depending upon downloading/uploading. The DSL light is next, again going green when working, then there is the wireless light, which flashes when a wireless device is connecting to the router.
Finally there are four numbers, 1-4 which light up green when a wired device is connected to the router. All these lights are nicely located behind a curved transparent casing which wraps around the unit itself.
On the back there are several ports, four being for network cables, one for the power supply and another for your phone wire to connect to.
There is also a reset button which can only be pressed using a very thin object, such as a straightened paper clip, (this should only be pressed if something disastrous goes wrong with the router)
As the aerial is integrated into the router there is no unsightly bits of plastic sticking out of the back, making it look a lot nicer to look at.
The inbuilt security protection is, if set correctly, a brilliant idea and can help towards keeping all those nasty intruders out of your private life.
There is the firewall, with encryption options of WEP, (Wired Equivalent Privacy) and WPA-PSK, (Wi-Fi Protected Access Pre-Shared Key).
Then there is the option to have you router wireless hidden or on show, simply by ticking a box, this stops anyone actually 'seeing' your router when it is switched on.
It claims to be keep you connected, wirelessly, to the Web without any disconnection, using something called RangeMax, although when you read the small print it does state that a Netgear RangeMax PC card would give better result, but even without these cards I have never lost connection regardless of where I am in the house.
So, after using this router, which was just meant to be a temporary measure, when I told my friend that I no longer needed it he kindly said I could keep hold of it until I bought a replacement. But, since I have found this to do a cracking job at keeping me connected online, at a rather good rate of speed, I haven't really rushed out to buy a new one as yet, and fortunately for me my friend is in no rush for me to return this to him.
I know that routers are pretty cheap these days with some well known brands dropping in at around the £20.00 mark but why fix what isn't broken, so to speak. This Netgear is doing exactly what I ask of it and I have no complainst about it at all so, unless my friend comes knocking on my door asking for it back, I can't see me replacing this for a while... so long as I don't go near it with another brew.
As for the price, well it sells for around £40.00 from such places as amazon, but it could possibly be found cheaper if you looked around.
In all, a sleek looking router which will help you surf the internet quickly and easily and , if my previous experience with net gear products in anything to go by, should last quite some time.
(Surfing speeds vary according to your ISP and your location from the exchange)
To stop your router from being used by other wireless devices, keeping you under your maximum monthly download with your ISP, I recommend changing the router password straight away, plus, change the security mode to WPA instead of WEP and set a difficult to guess Pre Shared Key.
Also, once you have connected all your wireless laptops and set them to 'connect even if network is not broadcasting', click on the 'hide wireless network', this will stop your router from showing itself to other wireless devices.